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Amazon’s Offering Glacier Cold Storage

Amazon says Glacier is designed to provide average annual durability of 99.999999999% for each item stored

Amazon has brought out a new cloud service called Glacier to freeze out the competition.

It wants companies to archive and back up their data, all the stuff they have to hang on to for years and years to comply with all the rules, but don't have to access very often.

Storing all this pack rat data is expensive. Amazon is offering to do it for a penny a gigabyte a month, a "significant savings" it figures is "disruptive."

As is typical with Amazon there's no up-front fee and it's pay-as-you-go. Archives are apparently saved in "vaults" in Amazon's data center in Virginia via a Glacier API although the FAQ says the "service redundantly stores data in multiple facilities and on multiple devices within each facility."

Amazon says Glacier is designed to provide average annual durability of 99.999999999% for each item stored. Each month the user can retrieve up to 5% of the data he stored in Glacier for free. Deleting data from Amazon Glacier is free if the archive being deleted has been stored for three months or longer.

Amazon says "When data is retrieved, it is often a small subset of the total data stored. For example, let's assume you upload 1 petabyte of data to Glacier, and each archive is 10 megabytes. If you retain your data for three years, and retrieve up to 10TB a month, retrieving less than your free allowance each day (i.e., less than 3.3 terabytes a day), your monthly TCO over the three-year period would be $10,689 or ~$0.01 per gigabyte per month."

It's not clear how hard it is to find exactly what you're looking for.

Amazon says users save on hardware, software, power, facilities, staffing, and maintenance and avoid the common issue of over-provisioning. It's planning to introduce an option that will let customers move data between S3 and Glacier based on data lifecycle policies.

See http://aws.amazon.com/glacier/pricing/.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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